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Author Topic: Drama at F-Stop Gear  (Read 14276 times)

alan_b

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Drama at F-Stop Gear
« on: August 03, 2016, 12:49:44 am »

Sounds like a house of cards about to crumble.  Too bad, I like my pack.

http://resourcemagonline.com/2016/08/an-inside-look-at-f-stop-a-bag-company-falling-apart-at-the-seams/68877/
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razrblck

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2016, 03:26:01 am »

When businesses are based on someone's ego instead of real passion for a product, that's the result. Crowdfunding is a great tool, but often it's being used to fund people's wish lists instead of good ideas.

I used to be interested in one of their backpacks, but never managed to justify myself the cost nor the hoops to go through to get one. I'll keep buying Lowepro.
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Christopher

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2016, 02:22:53 am »

Their backpacks amazing! Their customer service is good, but limited to the fact that they do have HUGE stock and management problems. I wish them well, but have my fears about their future.

It would be a shame, because I have used lots of gear but never anything hing close as good for hiking.


Christopher Hauser
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Paul2660

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2016, 07:34:46 am »

It was obvious something was wrong as they have very little in stock and message is always the same about 6 months or so for more product.

I noticed Lowe's Whister pack has a similar design to f-stop so the patents may have run out.

Paul C
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dwswager

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2016, 08:49:18 am »

Sounds like a house of cards about to crumble.  Too bad, I like my pack.

http://resourcemagonline.com/2016/08/an-inside-look-at-f-stop-a-bag-company-falling-apart-at-the-seams/68877/

The signal was a company as old and established as F-Stop using Kickstarter!  At this point, if generated revenues were not sufficient to fund development of a new product, then the company has a problem that Kickstarter is not designed to solve.  Especially in light of the CEOs spendthrift ways.

I look back at the progression of Really Right Stuff going from a husband and wife running a small niche business to what it is today.  I doubt Bryan and Kathy could have done that had they maintained ownership.  In fact, I think they didn't want to do that and were smart enough to know that if they tried it would fail.
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NancyP

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 08:06:46 pm »

Too bad, because they have good products. I did do the women's shorter-torso pack Kickstarter project, which was predictably several months late.The F stop people did send out monthly updates on the status.
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razrblck

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 02:13:28 am »

The signal was a company as old and established as F-Stop using Kickstarter!  At this point, if generated revenues were not sufficient to fund development of a new product, then the company has a problem that Kickstarter is not designed to solve.  Especially in light of the CEOs spendthrift ways.

Agree. Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general are a great asset for startups and new ideas, but a company that has been working for many years shouldn't rely on such an unpredictable form of funding for their product development.

It truly is a sign something up top isn't right, it implies they can't get funding from investors nor banks which means they are most probably in deep debt and nobody trusts them anymore.

I'm sure that if/when they close, someone else will quickly take their place.
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brandtb

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 07:32:52 am »

Alan - thanks for posting this...nice to finally get some clear info. on it the issue. /Brandt
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Paul2660

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2016, 10:35:40 am »

What is even more disturbing, is that their website appears to still be taking orders for products that more than likely will never arrive.  I have been trying to order a Shinn for almost 1 year now, and it's only been in stock 1 time, but in the wrong color. 

Right now you can go through the entire order process, to where they ask for a card info, there is no mention of if they are charging now? or when the product is in stock. 

Just curious, as if they do declare bankruptcy and re-structure, all of those orders will be lost to the person who ordered (that is if they charge the card).

Paul C
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Zorki5

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2016, 11:26:17 am »

The signal was a company as old and established as F-Stop using Kickstarter!

That, in itself, is not a sign at all.

Lots of established and very well-off companies use Kickstarter these days for extra publicity, not for funding, even though that's arguably a nice extra for them (and get criticized for doing so, as it undermines the whole idea...)
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algrove

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2016, 11:44:30 am »

Do they actually have a dealer network?
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dwswager

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2016, 01:47:04 pm »

That, in itself, is not a sign at all.

Lots of established and very well-off companies use Kickstarter these days for extra publicity, not for funding, even though that's arguably a nice extra for them (and get criticized for doing so, as it undermines the whole idea...)

I would never contribute to Kickstarter funding of a product by an established company.  The point of Kickstarter is to allow funding of projects that cannot get funding from traditional sources.  They tend to carry much higher risk or at least have a much smaller market potential or the entity has high risk of failure. If an established company cannot get funding via traditional paths, it is because the source believes that either the product or company are not viable.  That is, the smart money has decided to sit it out.
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Zorki5

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2016, 02:29:12 pm »

I would never contribute to Kickstarter funding of a product by an established company.

Neither would I.

But just think about it: even Meyer-Optik founded in 19th century have had two Kickstarter campaigns...
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Jack Hogan

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2016, 03:55:15 pm »

Neither would I.

But just think about it: even Meyer-Optik founded in 19th century have had two Kickstarter campaigns...

Desperate...
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Eric Brody

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2016, 06:18:03 pm »

I'm one of many who had problems with F-Stop. I ordered an ICU, it actually arrived, from Hong Kong. Sadly, I had erred in my measurement and it did not fit the Osprey bag in which I wanted to use it so I called and returned it in untouched condition. It took many weeks to get the refund. Then... I got a bill from UPS for over $100 for shipping. I had already paid the listed $15 so after calling UPS found out that it was F-Stop with the problem. I've heard great things about the bags and get but never heard a good word about their service. This bad news about the company is not a surprise to me. These are bleeping backpacks, sewn together pieces of nylon, not exactly a complex high tech electronic item.
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Christopher

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2016, 12:03:37 am »

... These are bleeping backpacks, sewn together pieces of nylon, not exactly a complex high tech electronic item.

And still if you actually want to hike and use them in difficult conditions there are nearly no photo backpack alternatives.



Christopher Hauser
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shadowblade

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2016, 12:14:38 am »

And still if you actually want to hike and use them in difficult conditions there are nearly no photo backpack alternatives.



Christopher Hauser
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What about external frame backpacks?

Take an ALICE pack (or one of the new, lightweight carbon fibre ones) and you can hook anything you like up to it, up to and including Pelican cases.
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razrblck

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2016, 02:45:30 am »

Neither would I.

But just think about it: even Meyer-Optik founded in 19th century have had two Kickstarter campaigns...

Desperate...

Exactly.

Maybe Rollei should've done a kickstarter to save the Hy6?
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brandtb

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2016, 09:24:54 am »

An original upside for Fstop gear aside from design, price, functionality - was the low weight. There was nothing comparable when they first started manufacturing. Unfortunately other manufacturers a little late to this game are still not factoring that in to the design equations adquately. When you are on a multi-day mountain trek with large DSLR gear (as opposed to small Sony mirrorless types) - weight can and does matter to many users. Sometimes down to the odd ounce here and there.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 09:46:19 am by brandtb »
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Paul2660

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2016, 11:08:23 am »

And still if you actually want to hike and use them in difficult conditions there are nearly no photo backpack alternatives.



Christopher Hauser
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Hi Christopher,

Actually Lowe has several good designs, and now with the Whistler series they have a design like F-Stop where the opening is against the back. 

Personally I like the F-stop pack, but would still prefer to have the main opening on the outside, just personal pref. 

I also wonder what Phase One will do, as they had offered one of the F-stop packs and ICU's on their site. 

Paul C
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